Walleyes Unlimited Legislature Preference List – Jan 28
Click on the link below to view a list of all bills Walleyes Unlimited are following for this 2021 Montana Legislature session.
HB 152 – Second offense for plug violation – Jan 18
It is a secondary offense violation. A vehicle has to be stopped for a different violation before Law Enforcement can check for the plug violation. It is written like our seat belt law. Applies only to Highway Patrolman, Sheriff’s Officers, and City Policemen. Game Wardens have no authority to enforce traffic or motor vehicle registration laws, only Fish and Game laws.
Even a worse idea than I thought.
Please use our contact page and select Executive Director – Bob Gilbert
Bob Gilbert E.D.Lobbyist
HB 154 Requires drain plugs to be removed while trailering – Jan 11
Notice On 1-12-21 House Bill 152 was assigned to the House Natural Resources Committee. As of today, 1-14-21, a hearing date has not been scheduled. The Bill is sponsored by Neil Duram from Eureka at the request of the Department of Natural Resources. Not from FWP. The Bill will require that all boat drain plugs be removed during transit in the State. The WUM Board discussed this same proposal a couple of years or so ago and decided not to support it. I am asking for member input with your opinions. Also, since the time for the hearing will be soon please call or email your Legislators on the House Natural Resources Committee and express your opinions.
This is a bad idea and needs to be defeated. Please note the comments on the Bill by Dale Gilbert. He is spot on.
- Since we are already required to remove the plug, clean and dry the boat prior to leaving a site….what additional benefit is gained by leaving the plug removed? Does the benefits out weigh the risks?
- Leaving the plug removed would potentially result in the loss of the plug, damage to the boat drain hole from the a plug left dangling while trailering down the road.
- Leaving the drain plug removed will also likely result in boaters forgetting to replace it prior to launching and creating a dangerous situation or at the very least congestion at the ramp while they are trying to get the plug in or have to reload the boat.
Please get in touch with Committee Members or email to me at your earliest convenience. Please use our contact page and select Executive Director – Bob Gilbert
Bob Gilbert E.D.Lobbyist
2021 MONTANA FISHING ENHANCEMENT ACT
PREAMBLE Whereas sport fishing is part of Montana’s rich outdoor heritage, and fishing is culturally important to over two hundred thousand residents of Montana, 100,000 out-of-state visitors and whereas sport fishing is a $280,000,000 dollar industry in Montana, and whereas the total angler days of fishing in Montana appears to be declining for both resident anglers and visitors, and that a very large percent of the sport fish caught in Montana are non-native fish, NOW THEREFORE it is policy of the State Montana to:
1. Recognize the cultural importance of sport fishing in Montana for all important fish species.
2. Recognize the economic importance of sport fishing in Montana
3. Give equal recognition to both native fish and important non-native fish of economic and cultural importance.
4. Important Montana fish species include non-native Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and Brook Trout; Westslope Cutthroat Trout; Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout; Bull Trout; Arctic Grayling; Mountain Whitefish; Northern Pike; Walleyes; Yellow Perch; Kokanee Salmon; Largemouth Bass; Smallmouth Bass; Crappies; Catfish; Sauger; non-native Lake Trout; and Lake Superior Whitefish.
5. Montana FWP shall take all appropriate steps to improve and enhance fishing opportunities in Montana for all species of importance
6. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks shall update the state fisheries management plan to ensure maintaining healthy and viable populations for all fish of importance as mentioned in this legislation. The update of the state fish management plan shall include extensive public meetings and will consider public input.
7. Any fish management project to assist native threatened or endangered or sensitive fish species, which reduces sport fishing opportunities for other fish species of importance, shall provide for replacement sport fishing opportunities of the fish species displaced.
8. All existing fish hatcheries shall be kept open and in full production similar to average hatchery production for the last five years. FWP shall provide a complete assessment of the current fish hatchery system, future needs and recommended changes, including budget requirements to the 2023 Legislature.